Hebe ochracea - Rejuvenation advice

Hi

Does anyone have any experience of rejuvenating Hebe ochracea?

I have 2 plants and they’ve grown to a reasonable size over the years, but they’ve become very leggy and I was hoping to prune them so that they have shorter, leafier stems.
I’ve cut one or two stems back previously, stems that had growth lower down, but that hasn’t really worked as planned.

If they can’t be rejuvenated in this way, I would be happy with taking cuttings and swapping out the older plants for the cuttings, one they’re big enough. However, I’m not sure how to take cuttings of this plant. I’m usually pretty confident with cuttings, but not so much with this plant.

Any advice or tips on the pruning or propagating would be appreciated.

Thank you
Amy

1 Like

Hi Amy,
I don’t have experience with this Hebe but I do others and they generally can take quite hard pruning, though I would only do it in early spring when the weather starts warming up.
The fact it has shoots lower down suggests it will recover…
Personally I would weigh up the risk and consider taking the bullet even if you lose them.
Cuttings are taken like other woody shrubs by taking the young shoots now and putting them somewhere warm and not too sunny to see if they take. If they’re important to you, I’d do as you say and try taking cuttings. If any work, in spring bite the bullet and hard prune to shoots lower down - giving them a good fertilise at the same time.

Someone with direct experience of this Hebe ochracea might have different advice to me.

Jack
Jack

Thanks Jack

I do really like this plant. It has such good movement and colours and when it flowers, it’s beautiful. It’s one of those plants that, when I bought them, I didn’t imagine I would like them this much.
If I’d known how they were going to grow, I might have put them in a wider bed, but I do actually quite like how they hang over the gravel and bring depth and colour to that side of the drive.

I’ll give the cuttings a go.
As no new shoots have come from the base in a few years, I’m a bit nervous of a hard cut back. I could end up with thick stems and sparse leaf growth, but I might try as you suggested, with one of them, and see how it goes.

Thanks again
Amy

2 Likes

The challenge with only cutting on stem is that the energy may still go to the others, where as by cutting them all, it’s forcing the plant to put energy into the new shoots. I’d definitely only cut to the lowest shoot for now. Take the cuttings as a starter and if some root, that might help with future decisions :slight_smile:

Sorry, I meant 1 of the 2 plants I have, not 1 of the stems :slightly_smiling_face:

It won’t have been clear from my photos, but I have 2 plants near to each other, both have gone leggy. I should have been clearer.

1 Like

Ah sounds like a good plan! :+1:

1 Like